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The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed to create a competitive, deregulated environment for all forms of telecommunications, including local and long distance phone service, cable television, broadcasting, and Internet services. The Telecommunications Act was designed to open up the local markets to competition and to create incentives for the investment in and deployment of advanced telecommunications services. The Telecommunications Act provides for these goals by removing barriers to entry and requiring local exchange carriers to provide access and interconnection to all competing carriers.

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